The branches are laden and the bicycles along the side of the street, sunken. I am the first to have walked this path today, and my feet disappear below me with each step—landing one by one with the soft whisper and feeble resistance of a foot of fresh powder. I find myself somewhere between early childhood visions of what Christmas should be like—small figurines of Victoria-era folk bustling about a white-coated world illuminated by candle glow from windows—and the cold reality of this pinkish-gray January sunrise in southern Sweden. I think of LA kids and the mythic regard for the white stuff and of Indian summers. Of pickup trucks racing down the Grapevine towards the city—cabs filled with ecstatic children and beds filled with snow to be dumped somewhere to melt on a brownish-green lawn in Burbank.

A flock of magpies rises overhead, their nests crown every tree along this street.

So, this is what snow is like.

I look around (make sure no Swedish people are watching) and, backpack and all, take a massive jump into the nearest virgin snowbank. It is cold—but, good God, it really is snow.


Sydsvenskan’s report in pictures for the unusual amount of snow Skåne has been receiving in the last week.


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